Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has said that Ireland’s signature of the Istanbul Convention is a very significant step forward. The Council of Europe Convention is focused on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
“Domestic violence is a scourge on our society and needs to be tackled head on. One in five women in Ireland is affected by domestic abuse and we know that around the country, and here in County Meath, women are today living in fear. They’re afraid to speak out and afraid to leave.
“The signing of the Istanbul Convention will not solve the problem of domestic violence or eradicate this terrible crime, but it is an important step in the battle against it. The signing of the convention reaffirms the commitment of Government to foster a culture and to implement meaningful changes which can help reduce the incidence of domestic violence, better support victims and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“The Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald has today announced an Action Plan for the implementation of the Istanbul Convention in Ireland. It outlines the steps required to fully ratify the convention, which include:
· A range of legislative measures including the new Domestic Violence Bill and the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Bill;
· Provision of education and training of public sector staff involved in this area;
· Development and delivery of training for legal professionals;
· Implementation of co-ordinated, integrated national helpline service provision for responding to domestic and sexual violence
· Development of a Risk Assessment Matrix by An Garda Síochána
“It is also important to note that today marks an important milestone for all those who have campaigned for better protections and supports for victims of domestic violence. I commend those people and reaffirm my support for the very important work they do.”